The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), supported by over 44,000 farm families and 30 affiliated organizations, welcomes the opportunity to present our recommendations to The Task Force on Rural Economic Renewal. Farm families represent a large proportion of Ontario’s rural population. Farmers are generally community focused people who volunteer a great deal of time and energy into their communities, and they have a vested interest in seeing their communities thrive. Any changes that are made to provincial policies are a result of this consultation process, must recognize the substantial contributions that farmers and the agricultural industry make to the economy of not only their communities, but also the Province of Ontario. Any policies that are implemented must not be detrimental to the existing agricultural base in rural communities.
The OFA has a number of suggestions that, if implemented, will add to the viability of agriculture, which in turn will also support rural communities and foster an environment which is attractive to small businesses and industries, thus encouraging rural economic development and renewal.